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1890 Chronokey Chronomedia index
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early   Louis Le Prince begins developing a marketable version of his film equipment.  
May 17  First edition of Comic Cuts, the first weekly comic paper, is published in the UK.  
September 16  Le Prince at the home of his in-laws in Leeds not long before his disappearanceEn route from Dijon to Paris, Louis Le Prince [right] and his film equipment disappear without trace.  
autumn   Jesse Lippincott suffers paralysis which, within months, leads to his losing control of North American Phonograph Company. The principal creditor, Thomas Edison, takes control.  
December 16  In Japan, a telephone switching system is inaugurated at Tatsunokuchi, Tokyo and a telephone service is established between Tokyo (155 subscribers at launch) and Yokohama (42 subscribers).  
•  William Friese-Greene makes three trial films with his camera. The first is shot in Hyde Park, London on 65mm film, the second at or near his home in Kings Road, Chelsea on 60mm film and the third a stereoscopic film of Hyde Park on 155mm film. The frame rate is too low (approximately five frames a second) to create a genuine illusion of movement. The films are included in the Will Day collection at the Cinémathèque française.
•  Compagnie du Théâtrophone is established in Paris to distribute music from several theatres by telephone to domestic subscribers. It is also available on special coin-operated telephones installed in hotels and cafés. The service continues until 1932. Among future subscribers is Marcel Proust. Click for picture The idea had been anticipated by the British humorous magazine Punch in 1877.
•  New York Phonograph Company opens the first purpose-built recording studio.  
•  Julius Elster and Hans Geitel exploit the photo-electric effect to create the first photo valve by enclosing an alkali-amalgam in an evacuated envelope.  
•  Edison introduces the six-inch long cylinder for dictation machines. It remains the standard for cylinder recorders until 1945.  
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Page updated 11 January 2009
© David Fisher